Top 10 Ways to Not Space-Out in Your Quiet-Time

Kings DevosIt was said of George Whitefield, that he woke-up every morning at 4:00am for personal prayer-time. As 10:00pm approached he would say to everyone in his home, “Come, gentleman, it’s time for all good folks to be at home.” Doesn’t that sound a little rude? Why would he say something like that? Because if he stays up too late he wouldn’t be able to wake up early to seek God, (nor would he have been a fire brand to kindle The Great Awakening). According to Deuteronomy 4:24…

God is a “jealous God”.

And if He’s jealous to have your heart, then you and I ought to be jealous about guarding that time, and not letting anyone, (or anything), steal that time with our First Love, who’s name is, Jesus.

Below are some points that I’ve developed for an effective Prayer-Time/Quiet-Time. Avoid the tendency to check e-mail, or Facebook, etc. Get a plan and watch how much your relationship with God will grow.

1. Make a “Prayer Time” CD.

2. Plan ahead & find a “Prayer Closet” where you can be alone.

3. Know in advance where you’re going to read in the Word.

4. Get a Prayer Journal and write down what the Holy Spirit is giving you.

5. Use Rhema Cards to get your prayer time started with faith.

6. Then move into a time of Thanksgiving.

7. Lift your hands in praise & adoration to the Lord.

8. Then begin to pray The Lord’s Prayer.

9. Avoid sleepiness by pacing & praying.

10. Take the last 5 minutes of your Quiet Time to thank, worship, and praise God.

Do have struggles in your Quiet-Time, or secrets that have helped you? Leave a comment below.

If you enjoyed this post, come check out my brand new blog: Today I Can Change: http://www.todayicanchange.com

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The Most Anointed Word You Need to Know

You might be thinking, “Hallelujah”, or “Glory”. Those are great words, indeed, but the most anointed word is a practical word that needs to get down into the very fiber of your being – where it can radically alter the way you think and do things. This will be a bit of a faith-exersize as I share with you 3 ways to really see your life arise to a higher level. So get ready to be changed!

Psalm 27:6 And NOW shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: Therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord. [kjv]

When all Hell seems like it’s about to break loose on your life, you’ve got to know the secret that David used when he too had his back up against the wall.

1. The Lord IS My Light. When David was faced with opposition, he refused to somehow think he was in the dark, or didn’t know what to do – no. David lived in the brightness, in the powerful glow of the presence of God in his present moment – “The Lord IS (not “was” or “will be”) my light!” Say this out loud: “Right NOW I’m not in the dark!”

2. I Simplify My Life. David wasn’t the schizophrenic leader like King Saul was. He wasn’t “loving God” at one moment and then getting angry with his family, staff or volunteers at another – no. David had just “one thing” on his agenda every morning – Seeking God. Say this out loud: “Right NOW I’m simplifying my life.”

3. I’m Not Waiting for Victory. In verse 6, David used a good, old-fashioned, faith-filled word: “NOW!” (See also: Heb. 11:1). Even before the battle took place, David took control of his spirit, mind, and emotions; and in effect said…

“I know my enemies are trying to move in on me, trying to make me fearful, overwhelmed with anxiety, and trying to cause me to cower in discouragement; but right NOW my head is going to be held high. In fact RIGHT NOW I look down on my enemies. I’m so charged-up with faith right NOW that I’m going to sing a song and whistle a tune in the presence of mine enemies, because I know on Whom I have believed!”

Say this out loud: “Right NOW I’m taking charge of my life.”

Don’t allow procrastination to rob you of your blessing! Make a concrete decision today that things are going to be different!

Prayer-2-Pray
“Lord, please forgive me for always wishing and hoping that things will get better. I want to begin to use my faith, and adopt this faith-filled word: “NOW”, and I choose to do it NOW! In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!”

Another One Bites The Dust

Actually… according to scientists, the Dust Mites may, in fact, be the ones who are biting back!

I’m taking our youth here in Maui, HI through a series we’re calling, “Waking-Up Sleepy Christianity”.

Dust mites love dead skin and some of the best places they feast on are pillows, bed covers, and blankets. This is not meant to freak you out, (but it may have). It’s more to share the spiritual analogy between “dust” and “sleepy Christianity”.

Isaiah 52 says, “Awake, awake! Shake yourself from the dust, arise!”

“DUST”= SLEEPY CHRISTIANITY
Why? Because you don’t know it’s there until you get up close. Sometimes we distance ourselves from people and the church so that they won’t know what’s really going on in our life. Because if you get up-close to me you’ll see that there’s a lot of… Dust. And, dust only comes from one thing – Neglect.

– Dusty Bible
– Dusty Prayer Closet
– Dusty, nasty Attitudes

THE RESPONSIBILITY I HAVE TO WAKE-UP

The Scripture says I have to “shake” myself. The preacher can nudge you, but you’re the only one who can “shake” you. Your friends can try to shake you, They’ll say things like: “You really shouldn’t be doing that. What are you doing?!”, but you’ll just shake it off. You’ve got to shake yourself! It your responsibility. No one can do it, but you.

THIS IS MY WAKE-UP CALL

It’s not that you’re a “bad” person, or a “sinner”, it’s just that me and you, we have neglected our “beautiful garments” (Isaiah 52:1). We have to “put them on”. These are the…

– Beautiful Garments of Salvation
– Beautiful Garments of Forgiveness
– Beautiful Garments of Praise

It’s time to toss that old pillow of sleepy Christianity, and begin a fresh new day with the One who gave His all for you. Don’t be another one who bites the dust, (or is bitten by the “Dust”). What do you say?

Psychological Procrastination

We’re all familiar with procrastination. “I know I should do it today, but… I’ll do it next week.” But as I was praying, I came up with a term that described the way I feel many times: “psychological procrastination”. This is where you’re at church, or at home, and you begin to think about getting closer to the Lord, or you’re wanting to have a more passionate faith. But then you think within yourself, “I’m not really feeling it right now. I will get closer to the Lord, but just not today. Maybe next week I’ll get something out of church or the sermon.”

And it goes on week after week – a whole year goes by and you’re thinking, “Where has the time gone? My life needs to go to another level!” Here’s the kicker though. We get excited for a day, or week at most, but then gradually decline into our typical ‘mode’, whatever that happens to be for you. But there needs to be a way to really break free from this “psychological procrastination”, so that a change can really take place, and that fruit would follow.

Maybe it’s just being aware that psychological procrastination is taking place, is the first step to change.

Spiritual Stragglers

Far too many of us Christians struggle with spiritual amnesia—walking around with a constant bump on our forehead, forgetting just how sly the devil moves and operates.

“Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God.” (Deuteronomy 25:17–18, NKJV)

Amalek here is a type of the enemy. In fact, the root meaning of “Amalek” means: To work, toil endlessly. To “Straggle” means just about the exact opposite: To dawdle, walk slowly, lollygag. So, while the enemy is staying awake at night, scheming how he can destroy a life, a family, a church, a nation—Mr. Christian is at the end of the line, in last place, oblivious to the fact that the devil has his sniper scope all dialed-in to pick you off when you least expect it!

Also, notice the timing of the enemy’s attacks: “…when you were tired and weary.” It’s not to say the he can’t, or doesn’t attack believers when they’re on-fire for God, but (being the sly devil that he is), he knows that spiritual stragglers are easy pickings, and he (in a sense) get’s more bang for his buck. Always remember that the devil is your enemy. Never hope that he’ll have mercy on. The Bible says of Amalek, “…he did not fear God.” The reason I say this, is because many Christians have the idea, “Well, I don’t want get too serious about my walk with Christ. I’ll just go to church, not be too bad, that way the devil won’t bother me.” Watch out. With that type of thinking, you might actually be a spiritual straggler, at the end of the line. Everyday you find yourself getting more tired, more weary; and the devil is watching you with a smile on his face—just waiting for perfect the right time to pull the trigger and take you out.

Romans 12:11 says, “…not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” The King James says, “Not slothful in business.” Hebrews 10:38… “Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”

We can’t afford to lag behind!
We can’t afford to be slothful!
We can’t afford to draw back!
We can’t afford to take spiritual vacations!
Now is the time to AWAKE!

“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Romans 13:11–14, NKJV)

Playing it Safe?

If God promises you something big, never settle for less.

“And Moses said to the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben: “Shall your brethren go to war while you sit here?” (Numbers 32:6, NKJV)

This verse, literally jumped out at me this week. The significance of the original language, in this text, is absolutely eye-opening. The tribe of Ruben (which means, “to see” ), and Gad (which means, “a fortune” ), these two tribes saw the incredible land that they wanted to be theirs. The only problem is that it was on the wrong side of the Jordan. The whole deliverance from Egypt was for the purpose of getting them across the Jordan River, and into their very own “Promised Land”. But these two tribes were content to stay right where they were at. What did they see? Num. 32:1 says they saw the land of Jazer (which means, “help & protection” ), and Gilead, (which means: “to be exposed” and “arguments” ). Here’s the thing: Sometimes what looks good on the surface, ends up leaving you exposed, and causes a lot of arguments, shouting matches, and family feuds. When we begin playing it safe, it ends up biting us in the end! Matthew Henry says it like this: “They consulted their own private convenience more than the public good.”

Stop sitting around twiddling your thumbs

To sum it up, let me share this: If God promises you something big, never settle for less. If He’s spoken to you about being a Pastor, don’t lower yourself by taking a management position just because the job looks good, and you know that you’ll be able to afford a house & car payment. If He’s spoken to you to start a business, why are you settling in the land that looks safe, and that you’re protected? You know you’re not happy. You’re arguing with your spouse, your spiritual-walk is constantly being attacked. Why? Because you’re not strapping on your boots and dealing with the issues at hand. Get in there and possess your land! Stop sitting around twiddling your thumbs, while others are excited to be in the promised land. Go get yours!

Freebird

If you grew up in the 70’s, (or if you watched Forrest Gump), you know the song, “Freebird”, by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Part of the song says,

“I’m as free as a bird now, and this bird you cannot change, Lord knows I cannot change.”

Many times we try to escape our problems by simply running away from them. “Lord knows I can’t change.” Actually… He does. In fact, He can set a person free in a different way that’s not necessarily by your own doing.

“…let the living bird loose in the open field .” [Lev. 14:2]

It’s amazing that God revealed in the Old Testament what to do when an incurable disease was healed, (Lev. 14:2). To God, doing the impossible, is just everyday, ordinary stuff that He does. Even when we were still partying it up, and sinning like there was no tomorrow, Jesus had already made provision for our Salvation (Rom. 5:8). The very fact that He included this in His Word ought to cause everyone to know that whatever mountain of difficulty is before us, whatever sickness or disease – God is able to make provision to heal, and set us free!

Digging a little deeper in Leviticus 14, what do each of these things mean? The priest was to take two birds (remember this, it’s important for later), a piece of cedar wood, a piece of scarlet material, and some hyssop. Then he was to put one of these in an earthen vessel, and then kill it over running water. Then he would take the living bird, and the other things, and dip them all in the bird’s blood, (…I know this sounds heavy, but hold on it’s gets easier to understand, I promise). The the blood would then be sprinkled on the leper seven times; and then the living bird would be set free in an open field.

Bird Killed in an Earthen Vessel: This represents Christ, leaving Heaven, inhabiting a human body, then dying for our sins. (2 Cor. 4:7)
Bird Killed over Running Water: This represents how Jesus acted in obedience to the Word of God in actually going to the Cross. It also represents the Holy Spirit, who alone empowers us to lay down our lives like Jesus did. (Zech. 4:6)
The Cedar Wood: This represents the Cross of Christ. (John 19:17)
The Scarlet: This represents the Blood of Christ, and the deliverance that it brings. (Josh. 2:18)
The Hyssop: This represents the passing-over of our sins by the Blood of the Lamb. (Ex. 12:22)
The Living Bird Loosed in the Open Field: This represents 1) the Resurrection of Christ, but also 2) it’s symbolic of us being set free by the death of another – namely Christ. (Rom. 8:2)

Can’t you just see that living bird, covered with blood and water, flapping vigorously, thinking: “Whoa? I almost DIED!! I can’t believe I’m flying away now! ‘O thank You, Jesus!” If you’re thinking, “Lord knows I can’t change” then maybe you need to know that Jesus was was that other “bird” that was killed, instead of you and I. Think of it! The Lord knew you couldn’t change on your own, that’s why He left Heaven 2000 years ago to become a human – just like you and me, to take our place.

‘O that you would soar in life, because of what Christ did on the Cross for you. Then you can truly sing, “…and I’m as free as a bird now…”